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A 19-year-old female asked:

i have all the symptoms of depression, does this mean i have depression? or does it mean i have possible bipolar? i'm scared :(

3 doctor answers9 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alan Cohen
Psychiatry 39 years experience
DEPRESSION: This is a hard question to answer. Bipolar disorder may first present as depression, showing mania or hypo mania later on, sometimes years later. One way to help sort it out is to look at family history. If there is a history of bipolar illness in your family, you have a greater chance of having it. See a psychiatrist skilled in assessment and treatment of mood disorders.
Dr. Douglas Bey
Psychiatry 57 years experience
See a osychiatrist: Psychiatric consult should get you on the right track-- it's often helpful to bring along a relative or someone who knows you well to give the doc their objective observations as well.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
DEPRESSION: There is no need to fear depression. Get an evaluation from a psychiatrist to help identify what depression means to you and whatever else may be bothering you. Consider recommendations for medication if any are given. Get a referral for a reputable psychotherapist to speak with. Meds and therapy combined are most optimal; no just one or the other.

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